Simulating Night Vision Goggle Effects In a Virtual Environment: A Preliminary Evaluation
Final rept. Jan-Dec 2001
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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This research examined the capabilities of virtual environments to simulate night vision goggle NVG effects. Different solutions for simulating NVG images were assessed. Two conditions simulated NVGs but used different software approaches. Two additional conditions simulated unaided night environments that required soldiers to wear NVGs. Four-man infantry teams conducted urban operation missions under each condition. Objective assessments were obtained on the number of events correctly detected and the average time required to detect an event. Subjective assessments of task difficulty and image fidelity were also made. No significant differences were found across night conditions for either event detection or time. Significant differences in task difficulty ratings occurred for movement, visual detection, and maintaining situation awareness. In general, tasks were more difficult to perform while wearing the NVGs compared to simulated versions of NVG images. Soldiers also ranked the conditions involving actual NVGs as more realistic. The unique contribution of virtual environments for night operations training may be at the entry level. However, specific image fidelity issues associated with the use of NVGs in simulated unaided night environments must be addressed if this approach is to be used as an effective training medium.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Optical Detection and Detectors